Nick Carver Photography Blog

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And Now for Something Different: Portraits

For those of you relatively new to my blog and/or website, you probably know me as a landscape photographer. Most of my posts here and the bulk of my portfolio is all nature stuff. But it may be news to you that I not only shot portraits professionally in a previous life, but I also currently coach dozens of private students on portraiture technique. I've photographed just about everything in my years as a photographer and although the majority of my energy is currently devoted to landscape photography (and always will be), I still enjoying taking pictures of people on occasion.

Portrait by Nick Carver

As you'll read in this previous post of my portraiture work, I'm part of a group called GroupShoot. It's based out of LA and consists of amateur and aspiring photographers and models who get together to take pictures - just for fun. We meet in cool locations, go with a theme and just photograph the crap out of each other for the day. It's open to all who are interested, so click the link above to get more information.

We had a shoot this weekend in Chatsworth at a park called "Stoney Point." It was hot, dry and tons of fun. I worked with 3 models for the day: Jessica Baus-Paget, Jeffrey Riemer and Akane Denise. They were all fantastic and I had a blasty photographing them. None of these pictures have received any air-brushing, touch-up, dodging or burning. With the exception of the black and white versions which were done in Aperture, all of these pictures are pretty much straight out of the camera.

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

These next two are my personal favorites from the entire day. The breeze came by at just the right time...

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

Portrait by Nick Carver

In the Orange County area and interested in learning how to take portraits? Check out my private lessons.

Models:
Jeffrey Riemer
Jessica Baus-Paget
Akane Denise

Looking Back On An Old Picture

I wanted to post some new pictures for you this week, but I simply don't have any. I haven't taken any new pictures in quite awhile, but that's to be expected this time of year. The summer is kind of my "off-season." The beaches are too crowded, the sunsets are bland, the hills are dry and it's too hot to hit the desert. I'm hoping to visit the Sierra Nevadas this summer to quench my photographic thirst, but we'll see if that actually pans out.

So instead of posting new pictures, I thought I'd share an old picture - one from way back in April 2004. It's from back when I was still shooting Fuji Velvia slide film on my old Minolta Maxxum 7. I had the cheapest lenses I could get and was just barely getting into filters. Here is a scan of the original film:

Fallen Tree in Canyonlands National Park, UT

I took this picture in Canyonlands National Park after a freezing night of rain and snow. My uncles, my dad, my brothers and I had backpacked in the day before through intermittent rain to reach our first camp just in time to set up our tents and eat some grub. Luckily for me, we awoke to fresh powder on an otherwise arid landscape. There's no noticeable snow in this shot, but the stormy sky did help create a mood.

I was at the ripe old age of 17 when I snapped this frame. I used Cokin brand grad gray filters (if memory serves), my old Slik tripod and a Sigma brand lens in the neighborhood of 28-135mm.

It's not a perfect shot and I'm sure I would do it differently now (for better or worse), but I wanted to share this picture because this particular image always stood out for me. I was very proud of the composition, exposure and filter use at the time. Also, it was my first "real photo trip" into the backcountry with an SLR camera. It's one of my first memories of really applying my skills to get a shot I was proud of.

A lot of memories have come and gone in the 7 years since (wow, is it really 7 years?), but I can still remember setting up this shot when I think back to it. Good times...

Washington Trip: Part 4

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, WA

I finally made it through all my Washington pictures! So, now it's time for the 4th and final entry showcasing my images from my recent trip to the Olympic Peninsula. This entry covers the second half of the second shoot day plus a couple shots from the morning I left for home.

But before we start, I want to share one picture that should have been included in the "Part 3" post. I didn't include it in that post because I included another picture that was very, very similar. But on second look, I think this is the better of the two (click it to see a larger version):

Olympic National Forest, WA

Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to some brand new pictures of Bunch Falls, a beautiful little set of cascades on the side of the road, Ruby Beach and some wildlife.

First off, on the way to Bunch Falls after shooting the hell out of Merriman Falls (see previous post), I was lucky enough to spot a Bald Eagle picking at a carcass on the banks of the Quinault River! I very quickly and very quietly stopped my car, strapped on my telephoto lens and started snapping. Unfortunately, the eagle was very far away from me, and as a result I had to use my 2x teleconverter and crop the resulting images quite a bit. This is a recipe for poor image quality and low resolution. Oh well, I was just thrilled to see a Bald Eagle in the wild - it was my first time.

Bald Eagle on the Banks of the Quinault River, WA

^ Bald Eagle eating

Bald Eagle on the Banks of the Quinault River, WA

^ Raven getting all up in Bald Eagle's business

Bald Eagle on the Banks of the Quinault River, WA

^ Bald Eagle fed up with Raven's shenannigans

After this rare-for-me encounter with such beautiful wildlife, it was on to Bunch Falls just up the road. Much like Merriman Falls, Bunch Falls was much, much more impressive than I imagined. It was tall, it was gorgeous and it was easy to access. I enjoyed photographing these falls so much that I completely ignored the hunger pangs starting to plague my stomach. After all, "I can eat anytime...but the light is perfect now."

I particularly like the vertical panorama shown below. As always, click any of the panoramas for a larger version:

Bunch Falls - Olympic National Park, WA

Bunch Falls - Olympic National Park, WA

Bunch Falls - Olympic National Park, WA
Bunch Falls - Olympic National Park, WA

Bunch Falls - Olympic National Park, WA

Bunch Falls - Olympic National Park, WA

After getting my full share of Bunch Falls, I packed up my gear, stuffed my face with some trail mix, got in the car and started back towards some civilization. But only about 25 feet down the road, a little cluster of cascades caught my eye. With bright, vivid green moss covering the rocks and perfectly placed drops in the falls, I couldn't not take pictures of it.

And that about sums up the whole trip: "Woah! That's gorgeous", photograph the hell out of it, get exhausted, pack up my gear, drive 25 feet down the road, "Woah! That's gorgeous", unpack all of it and start over. It got to be exhausting, but in the best kind of way. Anyway, here are the pictures from that set of cascades - lots of similar shots here, but I felt they were different enough to post each:

Moss-covered rocks and cascades in Olympic National Park, WA

Moss-covered rocks and cascades in Olympic National Park, WA

Moss-covered rocks and cascades in Olympic National Park, WA

Moss-covered rocks and cascades in Olympic National Park, WA

Moss-covered rocks and cascades in Olympic National Park, WA

Moss-covered rocks and cascades in Olympic National Park, WA

Moss-covered rocks and cascades in Olympic National Park, WA

Then it was a quick bite (of some delicious battered fish) before hustling out to Ruby Beach. I didn't exactly luck out with the sunset because it was pretty much overcast, but I was able to make it work by utilizing a heavy magenta white balance on some of them to mimic the magenta color correcting filters of old. By the way, this technique is covered in the Filters for Nature Photography Online Course. Similar compositions here again, but I was playing a lot with the wave patterns.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, WA

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, WA

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, WA

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, WA

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, WA

And finally, on my way out of the Olympic Peninsula as I started my journey home, I came across a herd of Elk grazing in a meadow. It was a nice little cherry on top to this fantastic trip.

Grazing Elk - Olympic National Forest, WA

Grazing Elk - Olympic National Forest, WA

Well, that's all of 'em, folks! If you see any you'd like hanging on your wall, drop me a line! Thank you for letting me share this experience and these pictures with you.